TWI has successfully completed a collaborative project - SubCTest - to develop novel NDT procedures and equipment for deployment from remote operating vehicles (ROVs) on subsea offshore structures and pipelines.
The project was carried out by a consortium of small-to-medium sized enterprises, research organisations and end-users and was supported by a €1million grant from the European Commission within their Framework 7 funding scheme.
The TWI-led consortium developed a range of novel NDT techniques using phased array ultrasonics, alternating current field measurement (ACFM) and long range ultrasonic testing (LRUT). The equipment included a design of phased array transducer for multi-skip and creep wave ultrasonics, an ACFM array probe that allows scanning of complex node welded joints in a single pass, a race-track LRUT technique for chains and an orbiting focused LRUT technique for welds.
A robotic manipulator was successfully demonstrated from an observation class ROV and furthermore, simulations were used to demonstrate performance when used on an offshore 'jacket' structure.